All Sickness Ain't Death

     "All Sickness Ain't Death." (2017) Four words that came to me for the first time in nearly 28 years as I laid in the hospital bed wondering what was going on with my body. And while I felt so miserable, I began to get nervous as I laid there.  Was I going to get better?  But then all of of a sudden George and this phrase jumped in my head, and I reminded myself this was just a bump in the road. I was just ill for the moment. 

     "All Sickness Ain't Death." (1989) The four words my Intro to Social Work professor quietly wrote on the chalkboard while we took our first exam.  After he wrote them, he never really explained them. He left them there on the board for our own brains to ponder.
     What those four words meant to him had to be profoundly different than what they meant to us...a bunch of freshmen just happy to be at college and free from home. He knew this, of course. We were clueless of the oppression, segregation, and racism that this man had faced in his life.  We were clueless that he was George Taliaferro...a man with three legendary firsts in football from a time period when the faces of football were much different than they are now.  Besides being one of the first great African-American Big Ten players, in 1949, he also became the first African-American to be drafted and then play quarterback in the NFL. I later learned in my friendship with George, those four words profoundly impacted his life as he persevered and showed others to also make the most of their lives. 
     This wonderful man made such an influence had on my life.  I learned more about who I was and who I wanted to be in that one semester class than I did in any other college class. George graciously taught us that all sickness ain't can persevere!
     So here I am years later. I have learned the hard way that our bodies can endure and fight sickness after sickness.  As cancer patients, we test our bodies by pushing them to unknown limits just to stay alive. We are willing to take on the extreme fatigue, hair loss, diarrhea, nauseous, mouth sores, anxiety, slight pain, medium pain, severe pain...all in the hopes that this drug will work. Maybe this drug will be the one that kills some of the cancer or at least keeps us stable for a while.
     Two weeks ago, I had sickness test me. I was starting the third cycle of Ibrance and Faslodex and had been feeling well for the most part. Suddenly, I started getting progressively fatigued. Next thing I knew, I found myself in the hospital dehydrated with a critically high calcium level and a critically low potassium level. Scans showed slight progression again which meant this treatment combo wasn't working either. 
     And so I start over again with a new treatment plan, hoping and praying that maybe this is the one that will make a difference.
     The good news...
My brain MRI showed no cancer.  I am still able to get around with minimal pain and do the things I want to do. I have so many loved ones to spend time with. My husband and kids bring me such joy everyday with their warped sense of humors. At times, it is hard to deal with all the emotions and let downs. However, through the brokenness, I can still see the good all around me. There is still lots of life for me to live. Next stop...San Francisco!

However it relates to your life right now and the struggles you are facing...
George will quietly write on the board...
All Sickness Ain't Death.